Rebel Road, Bike Time Attract Thousands
by Ray Peabody
Downtown Muskegon was jammed with thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts in town for the 10th Annual Muskegon Bike Time and Rebel Road on July 13 through July 16. After two years at the old horse racing property at the juncture of US-31 and I-96, Bike Time returned to the parking lot of Hot Rod Harley-Davidson. Rebel Road, organized by a downtown business association, is held on Western Avenue. Motorcyclists park mainly along both sides and down the middle of the street. The atmosphere was similar to that of a carnival with Western Avenue being the midway. The road was lined with food and motorcycle gear vendors and even a couple motorcycle dealerships had pop-ups. Multiple sites offered attractions during the four-day event. At Hot Rod Harley-Davidson, the Relentless Stunts team had three shows scheduled each afternoon. The dealership also offered demo rides on the 2017 Harley-Davidson models. A Biker Blessing and Patriot Ride were scheduled for the final Sunday of the event. At Rebel Road, concerts were held in the Depot Lot on both Friday and Saturday and in the LC Walker Auditorium lot each day. Other events included multiple bike shows, a tattoo and art expo, a tattoo contest, a power lifting competition, Ms. Rebel Road contest, and the Bearded Baron contest. There was always something going on. Despite the many attractions, the motorcycles parked along the street were the highlight of the show. That’s where most people could be found; walking up and down the street ogling the customs, rat bikes, and vintage motorcycles. While there were motorcycles from most manufacturers, Harley-Davidson was, as you might expect, the dominant brand. Bike Time /Rebel Road is not your typical biker event; it’s more of a family affair. Many families could be found – adults with kids, sometimes even a stroller – wandering amongst the motorcycles. Yes, there are adult activities but attendees won’t likely see the nudity or over consumption of alcohol they might see at other biker events. (Of course, I might be wrong about that since I was there for a few hours in the afternoon. The atmosphere might change in the evening.) Unlike when Bike Time was held at the race track, there was no charge to attend. With all the vendors, there’s a lot to buy but attendees didn’t have to worry about an admission fee. Overall, it was an enjoyable afternoon. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast and would like to hang out with a few thousand like-minded souls, check out Bike Time / Rebel Road in 2018. For more information about the 2018 event, visit the Rebel Road website at www.rebelroad.org or the Bike Time website at www.muskegonbiketime.com.
10th Annual Gilmore Vintage
by Ray Peabody
big stage and spotlight for motorcycles at least 25 years old. The event attracts thousands each year.
Lesser known is the 10-year-old Gilmore Vintage Motorcycle Ride held on the Saturday before the show. The 70-mile ride, open to riders with motorcycles 25 years old or older, begins at Gilmore Museum grounds and ends at the Gull Lake Inn. Two routes have been mapped with a fast route for the larger displacement motorcycles and a slower route for those riding motorcycles with smaller displacement engines and/or those who prefer less spirited riding. The route follows some of the most interesting riding roads in the area with lots of curves, hills, and picturesque views. The 2017 Ride attracted riders running a wide variety of brands including British, Japanese, European, and American models. Among the most interesting was an all-original 1974 MZ with less than 500 miles using the original spark plug and tires. A pristine single-cylinder Ducati café racer, multiple old Harleys with hand shifters, several “seasoned” Triumphs, BSAs, and at least one Norton, and a variety of Japanese hot rods including two showroom-quality Honda CB1100Fs were some of the other highlights. Ignoring the excellent BMW R 90 S,
Suzuki GS1100, first-year Gold Wing, Honda CB900F, and Yamaha RD350 would be a huge oversight. Most significant was that all of these vintage motorcycles were being ridden; none were museum-quality pieces meant for show but not for go.
The Gilmore Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet is one of those “do-not-miss” vintage events early on the riding season calendar. Interesting motorcycles can be found in the show and parking area. The Vintage Ride adds to the overall appeal of the show and turns an awesome one-day event into a remarkable weekend.
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